I got a big promotion this week, on primary election night.
The losing Republican U.S. Senate candidate, Shiva Ayyadurai, had gone off on a long rant about his crushing defeat. To boil it down, the election was stolen. He was framed.
About 20 minutes into his rant, Shiva accused me and the morning host at my radio station, Jeff Kuhner, of conspiring to destroy another Republican candidate (whom I have never met, by the way) back in 2014.
“People like Howie Carr set up Mark Fisher,” he said. “These people are the not-so-obvious establishment of the white working class, just like Bernie Sanders and Al Sharpton are the not-so-obvious establishment of the left and the so-called Black people.”
It must be an honorary position, because I can’t find any W-2s or 1099s indicating that I’ve ever gotten a paycheck from the Not-So-Obvious Establishment of the White Working Class Inc.
That wasn’t all Shiva ranted about. He thanked God for the Second Amendment. He described Massachusetts as “a friggin’ Third World country.” Not that he was bitter or anything, you understand …
You probably saw some of Shiva’s spots on TV. Dr. Shiva, as he calls himself, was on the air weeks before Kevin O’Connor, the lawyer from Dover who crushed him by a 60-40 margin, or 53,000 votes.
That’s a landslide, so it must have been a conspiracy, voter fraud, etc. At least that’s what Shiva’s been saying ever since the polls closed.
And Shiva knows who stuck the knife in his back. It was me, along with my good buddy, Gov. Charlie Parker. See, Baker endorsed O’Connor (sort of, very tepidly), after voting Tuesday.
“And another clown,” Shiva said in his Wednesday rant about O’Connor’s supporters, “who acts like he’s a Trumper, Howie Carr, who runs and takes pictures with Trump, a complete fraud, also endorsed him. So Howie Carr says he’s a Trumper, and you got Baker who hates Trump, endorsing him, so they hit us on both sides.”
Life sucks, Shiva, then you die.
But when a political candidate loses, he’s supposed to depart the stage with a little class. Self-pity is not good box office, as they used to say in Hollywood.
There was a pol in California, Dick Tuck, who delivered the most memorable election-night diss after a tough loss.
“The people have spoken,” Tuck said. “The bastards!”
Shiva did Tuck one better, using a word that rhymes with Tuck.
“So (bleep) Kevin O’Connor!” he yelled at his party. “(Bleep) Charlie Baker! Screw all these guys ’cause they’re all frauds. They’ve never worked a day in their lives and screw them!”
Well, as long as you’re not taking it personally, Shiva …
I first tangled with Shiva back in 2018 when he was trying to run against then-Rep. Geoff Diehl for the Republican nomination to run against the fake Indian Elizabeth Warren for Senate.
Up in Sandown, New Hampshire, right before the 2016 election, I had introduced Diehl to future president Trump. Trump was happy to shake Diehl’s hand — Geoff was one of his primary campaign chairmen in the state, which Trump won handily.
So in 2018 Diehl puts out the picture of himself doing the grip ‘n’ grin with the president. I think I’m in the picture, too. Other people were also at the event, among them Corey Lewandowski and ex-Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey.
Shiva sees the photo and develops one of his conspiracy theories. He starts telling everybody that the picture had been Photoshopped, and that a “third hand” was added, to make it appear that Diehl was shaking hands with the president when he wasn’t.
And he added that I was, somehow, a “fake Trumper.” I let it slide — never complain, never explain, that’s the sage advice I’ve taken from James Michael Curley.
But after about the hundredth time Shiva called me a “fake Trumper,” I went looking for a police report from Shiva’s hometown of Belmont. It involved a domestic-abuse case that was eventually dismissed.
After getting the incident report, I invited Shiva to my radio-TV studio. When he was seated, and the cameras were rolling, I put up his mug shot on a split screen. It was not a flattering portrait. Mug shots seldom are. You can still see the segment on YouTube.
Shiva was not happy. I didn’t figure he would be. That’s why I’d hired a detail cop to be in the control room, just in case.
I’ve seldom thought of Shiva since then, until Tuesday night, when he gave me my big promotion. First time anyone’s ever described me as being part of the “establishment” — any establishment.
Now Shiva’s been talking about a write-in campaign. Hey, that’ll work! Shiva, let me leave you with a thought from Shakespeare, about not blaming others for our own failings.
Sometimes, dear Shiva, the fault is not in the stars, but in ourselves, that we are underlings.